Ad buyers were treated to one more multi-network pitch about multiplatform offerings Tuesday night at the MTV Networks’ upfront presentation to advertisers – and a big pitch it was. MTVN stressed its commitment to meeting advertisers' needs in the digital space in a two-hour, celebrity-heavy presentation it dubbed "Feed the Need."
Speeches from MTVN Chairman/CEO Judy McGrath and top executives from nearly every network in the group's suite of cable channels touted the company's breadth of online and mobile applications, giving digital advertising opportunities equal if not more attention than the TV programming from which they are derived.
Pointing to MTVN's worldwide assets–122 channels, more than 100 Web sites, broadband channels and mobile content–McGrath called the company's viewers "the most loyal and digitally wired audience in the world."
MTVN says that more than 61% of its audience consumes content on multiple screens. That fact was highlighted by ad sales chief Larry Divney, who tried to sell ad buyers on MTVN's "brand-centric tools"–integrated ad buys to promote their clients' products.
In a room full of advertisers presumably hungry for promises of viewer engagement, MTVN Research Executive VP Colleen Fahey Rush detailed a "Multiplatform Engagement and Transference Study" the company co-sponsored. The study, she reported, found that consumers extend positive feelings for various media brands to the products advertised in those brands, and that engagement multiplies when products are advertised across various platforms.
MTVN President/COO Michael Wolfe, a former McKinsey Consultant, called the company's brand loyalists "alpha-consumers," early adaptors that he said "set us apart as a company."
Not a company to–at least publicly–take its posturing too seriously, MTVN filled the presentation with spoofs on the ad industry’s buzz words du jour, with parody clips poking fun at "integrated marketing" and "multiplatform strategy."
One bit included the comedians from VH1's pop-culture commentary series Best Week Ever riffing on integrated ad buys, likening a deal between Nick and Chevy to the gossip magazine darling Nick Lachey and his various female friends.
Another featured a word-of-the-day segment from Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert devoted to MTVN (pronounced by Colbert as Ma-Tiv-In), in which he touted the company's podcasting endeavors next to a split-screen graphic that displayed "suck it, terrestrial radio."
Actor/singer Ludacris at once promoted the company and his own ubiquity, saying, "When you're multiplatform, it can be hard to stay on top of things."
Perhaps the most laughs were garnered by an animated segment Starring Dora, star of Nickelodeon's educational series Dora the Explorer, innocently asking the audience, "Can you say multiplatform?" before elaborating that, for a multiplatform exploration, their backpacks would need to be filled with their iPods, PDAs, cellphones and "a bottle of Xanax."
Other audience favorites included Mr. T, there to promote his upcoming TV Land series I Pity the Fool, and Carlos Mencia and Sarah Silverman, who each promoted their Comedy Central series.
"Is my show funny?" Silverman asked in a standup bit. "I'll be honest--no. But my character eats Domino's Pizza every week and washes it down with Sierra Mist soda. I'm a team player."